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The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier
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The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  48 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Mention of the American West usually evokes images of rough and tumble cowboys, ranchers, and outlaws. In contrast, The Not So Wild, Wild West casts America's frontier history in a new framework that emphasizes the creation of institutions, both formal and informal, that facilitated cooperation rather than conflict. Rather than describing the frontier as a place where hero ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published May 4th 2004 by Stanford Economics and Finance
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Sean Rosenthal
Aug 29, 2015 Sean Rosenthal marked it as to-read
"While rent seeking to influence the government to redistribute property rights might be legitimized by democracy, its impact on the incentive to make productive investments and promote prosperity differs little from that of war. Indeed, war is the ultimate form of rent seeking: one side expends effort to defend its territory and assets against the aggression of another. This form of rent seeking is the very essence of the wild West, where Indians fought the influx of whites into their territori ...more
Jun 20, 2012 msdanconia rated it it was amazing
Preconceptions about the Wild, Wild West will not survive this book. Anderson and Hill debunk the popular thesis that the Old West was a place of anarchy and lawlessness before the entry of government. Instead, they argue it was a place of efficient wealth creation and maximization between private parties who came up with creative solutions to the unique challenges presented by the West. Subtitled "Property Rights on the Frontier", it may as well have been called "How The West Was Won" - not thr ...more
This treatment of the West is an amusing Libertarian take on the good ol' days of the West, when the government didn't get in the way of an individual's right to the land and ability to take care of their own issues. Although heavily ideologically driven (Anderson is a leading champion of the concept of free market environmentalism), one does learn a lot about western property rights, information on which you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

I do not necessarily agree with this interpretat
Jason Hallmark
Feb 27, 2016 Jason Hallmark rated it it was amazing
What an important book! I picked this up to read initially because I became very tired with the worn out old charge that free market solutions are simply a recreation of "the Wild Wild west". What I was treated to was a very through analysis of the historical record that clearly demonstrated that free individuals can, and do, tend to produce systems that reduce conflict and enhance conservation of resources. Hollywood, simply put, has it completely wrong. The conclusions of what this book lays o ...more
I'm sure most of us think of the wild west and picture John Wayne-style westerns, filled with anarchy, duels, and battles with Indians. But the reality is that the mid-19th century settlers of the western frontier were able to avoid violence and anarchy in a lawless area through collective action. Where property rights are poorly defined, they cooperated to clarify them. The institutional savvy that these pioneers had is initially mind-blowing, and then inspiring.

I recommend for anyone who want
Paul S Vigil
Jan 29, 2013 Paul S Vigil rated it really liked it
I thought it was a fun read...especially since I was able to meet the author and he sat in on a class for us.
Jan 26, 2016 David added it
Overall interesting.
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